Last Monday Sarah got to attend school for Kindergarten pre-screening. It was all day long. I took her into to school and we took some pictures of things in her classroom that she just loved and wanted to show everybody. I have to say, she has a GREAT classroom and it's so perfect for her! Because I had taken her and picked her up on Monday she wanted the bus experience yesterday. That was not easy for me to give in on. She insisted that she was a big girl now and would be fine with her older brothers and sister. So after giving the trips instructions to have at least one of them sitting with her on the bus and then also in the cafeteria until they were dismissed to class AND making them all PROMISE to actually do those, I let her ride the bus. As a side note, Sarah loves that she and Kayleah can wear the same size and share clothes, so she chose to wear the same "first day" shirt that Kayleah wore last week :). hee hee
We walked down to the bus stop and listen to her chatter the whole time we waited about how great her day was going to be and wondering what she'd do and how she would do it and with who, etc! She is such a hoot! After taking pictures I watched and waved my little princess off to begin her Elementary experience. Then I fell a. part. Poor Emily walked hand in hand with me back to the house and asked in a curious and almost disgusted way "Are you crying momma?". I had to laugh at the way she asked. For Emily, crying wasn't the appropriate response to having one less kid at home during the day. No, for Emily it was more like P. AR. TAY! I assured her I was excited about the mommy and Emily time too but that I was also a little sad to see my babies grow up and will miss the time we had at home together while they're at school. She asked if I was going to cry when she went to Kindergarten and I said, yes. She looked pleased with this response and was then quickly ready to start mommy and Emily day!
Sarah's exit off the bus could very well be compared to a red carpet entrance/exit! Even the older kids on the bus that got off at the same stop were smiling and giggling at her carefully posed exit. She then stopped and posed for a picture of course. Since I was videoing the event I had to quickly switch my camera back to picture mode. She patiently waited for me do so. Such generosity for the little people-yep that's my Sarah Bear! Once we got in the house I heard all about her great first day. The only new friend's name she could remember was Mary. ;) She was excited to go back today-which is a good sign. I did much better today. I haven't had to call anyone talking in cry language which no one understands apparently. LOL The tears have been fewer for sure today, but my heart is still aching and wishing I could slow the clock just a little bit.
OK so typing all of this sent me into a bit of a cry session. A small one, promise. Now, I'm back tracking a bit here. We have a long tradition in the Johnson family that the night before our first day of school we have a back to school dinner. We get to pick our meal and dessert AND eat it all on China (or fancy dishes as my kids call them). We also had blessings for the school year. This tradition was one I have enjoyed continuing with my children. I waited for Sarah to have her first day so that I could get this all in one big ol long post! Here goes-
Kaleb, Christopher and Kayleah started 2nd grade on August 1, 2008. The night before they all picked Pizza as their special dinner and Aunt Janece made some very very yummy fruit crepe-like desserts that were delicious! Crappa (that's what the kids call my dad, his doing mind you) gave them blessings. They all loved the evening and were very excited for the next day.FINALLY the first day of 2nd grade was here! You have never seen such excited kids I tell you! This year they are in separate classes. So far I have not heard one word of complaint or comment in the opposite direction that they are glad to be separated. The only comment they have made so far was to note that Christopher's class is not on the same "color" schedule as Kaleb's and Kayleah's. This means that their classes follow the same recess and specials each day. Specials are Art, Library, Gym and Music. They have gym two times each week.
Christopher did not seem bothered by this really, just noted it to me as a fact. He is so quiet about his feelings at times and I've learned to just listen to what he has to say without asking too many questions if possible. When he starts to feel like he's being grilled on his feelings or stuck talking about them longer than he wants, he tends to stop sharing them for a while. :) Sometimes I get lucky and we'll have some really good conversations about what he thinks or how he feels about something. I love those moments, little views inside his heart. They are precious.
Kayleah was a bit down to see that her bestest friend from Kindergarten and 1st grade was not in her class this year. Her name is Kaylee Triplet. They (and we) get a kick out hers and Kayleah's first names being so close and they are both "triplets" ha ha. Some day I will have the guts to tell her that one of the reasons they are not in the same class is because I requested they not be. I love that she likes her so much, but she was starting to lose her sense of self a bit last year with their friendship. She couldn't decide if she liked an outfit or song or anything else until she knew how Kaylee felt about it. I'm all for friends opinions (I know you're all nodding your heads at the countless times I've asked "what do you think") but I want her to feel confident standing on her own and forming her own opinions. I don't want her to be so dependant on another persons opinions so young. Ahem, I'm sure she will be less than thrilled to know that I made sure they were separated this year...
Kaleb was also missing his best bud Alva. I had nothing to do with that one-but his first grade teacher did! LOL! She had a time with those two chatter boxes in class last year. Every few weeks she would change the seating arrangements so that the kids had an oportunity to sit close and learn new things from all their classmates. Because the change around was so often they sat together several times in the same grouping. Well it became pretty obivous after a few rotations that Kaleb and Alva couldn't be in the same grouping together-they just couldn't stop talking! It really made me laugh when she told me this at a parent teacher conference. Poor kid got that from his mom. ;)
When the kids got home they couldn't even wait to get off the bus to start telling me about their days. Since they all had different days it was so fun to hear about them each without someone else getting sad that they didn't get to share that particular tid bit! They all have friends in their classes from last year and even kindergarten. Getting them to hold still for an after 1st day picture was not easy. Kaleb kept trying to talk (big shock) during the picture...so I couldn't really get a good smiling picture with him-oh well! LOL
Finishing up Sarah's story...She chose her absolute favorite meal of all time, Chicken and Rice. Seriously! She loves this meal-but only if I make it. One time my mom made her version of Chicken and Rice for the kids and they all asked me to please make it from now on. LOL, we make it a little differently ;). I cook my chicken in a mixture of Italian dressing and Soy sauce for a little over half and hour then throw in some frozen mixed veggies and turn the heat on high and caramelize it all together-it's soooo good! For her dessert she and I made our own version of Coldstone ice cream. We took chocolate or vanilla ice cream and put homemade brownies, mini chocolate chips and a drizzle of chocolate syrup in a bowl and chopped it all together then served. It was very yummy! After dessert we had a special Family Home Evening where Crappa gave Sarah her blessing. I started to tear up when he asked her to tell him her full name, she answered "Sarah. Bear." When she was little when asked what her name was she would answer the same way.
last night was Emily's Pre-school open house and tonight will be her special dinner and tomorrow her first day of her last year of Pre-school! That's a mouth full to say...lol. I will post her open house, dinner and first day tomorrow. If I can see through the tears. No promises.